Wow! If you missed Thursday’s kickoff event for this year’s Levitt Amp Whitesburg series you missed an absolutely stellar good time in Whitesburg, KY! If you weren’t there, you missed the return of live music to the Mountain Heritage Stage and the return of free weekly concerts from the Levitt Amp Concert Series. But don’t worry because for the next 9 Thursday’s there will be free music from national and regional acts. All different styles of music, so there should be something for almost everyone’s tastes.
Have I mentioned the huge crowd? I’ve not? Well shame on me! This is the start of my third year covering the Levitt Amp Whitesburg Series and last night was by far the biggest crowd I’ve seen for one event! I’ve seen some big crowds at the Mountain Heritage stage but they are generally during the annual Mountain Heritage Festival (Goose Creek Symphony comes to mind) so when you combine the year that was 2020 with Laid Back Country Picker and The Kentucky Headhunters that is going to equal a huge enthusiastic crowd! After the terrible, terrible year that was 2020, it seems a lot of people were ready to get outside to celebrate some Kentucky music.
Nasti Natty Brass Band:
Ron Short & The Possum Playboys:
On Thursday it was time for another installment (number three of ten to be exact) of the Levitt AMP Whitesburg Music Series here in Whitesburg Kentucky. The beautiful weather and all the local schools being out for the summer saw the biggest crowd yet at the Mountain Heritage stage for what promised to be an entertaining evening of music with Appalatin and Zoe Speaks.
Zoe Speaks with their blend of Folk/Americana/ Old-Time Mountain music and award-winning songwriting was the first on stage tonight. Zoe Speaks is a band with deep eastern Kentucky ties; Carla Gover (Vocals, Banjo) is originally from right here in Whitesburg while Mitch Barrett (Vocals, Guitar) is from up north in Madison County. They were joined on stage by their daughter Zoey Barret on fiddle and vocals. They are presently working on their 4th album Wings with Jesse Wells (touring with Tyler Childers) at the helm producing and engineering, look for it real soon! (more…)
Recently, I founnd myself back in Whitesburg for the second installment of the ten-week Levitt AMP Whitesburg Music series (http://concerts.levittamp.org/whitesburg).
This week we switch from bluegrass to rock, country, Americana and a little blues. No rain or overcast skies this time around, the weather was perfect! That perfect weather brought out a decent crowd for this week’s free concert.
Starting off this week’s show is The Seth Ferguson Experience a rock band from just up the road in Paintsville, Kentucky. A really solid band! They played mostly original tunes and a killer cover of Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold”. Several songs from their debut album Seth Ferguson ‘Man Vs Guitar‘ including “Secret Admiration” “Hello, Again” and “Dark Night of the Soul”, before closing out their set with a track off of a live recording, ‘Live @ HBD 2018‘ “The Game”. If they are going to be in your area go out and give them a listen. I think, like me, you’ll be a new fan! (more…)
The Levitt AMP Whitesburg Music Series kicked off on May 31st with Dave Adkins and Larry Cordle. A little history about the Levitt AMP Music Series can be found here https://grant.levittamp.org/
The Levitt AMP Music Series is a 10-week concert series with different genres of music performed each week, all concerts are free to the public. The venue had to be an underused public space. Whitesburg’s space is the Mountain Heritage stage in downtown Whitesburg. The stage used during the Mountain Heritage fall festival, but it is rarely used any other time of the year. In all, there were 15 grants awarded this year, with Whitesburg being the smallest community to receive a grant. The impressive thing about that is Whitesburg was also number one in the online voting across the country. A quick look at the map on the Levitt AMP website shows that Kentucky has three communities that received these grants, which also the most across the country. That shouldn’t be surprising with the amount of musical talent that has come out of Kentucky in recent years.
Bluegrass was the genre represented for the first show. Whitesburg’s own Sunrise Ridge got this rainy night underway with right at an hour long set. Included in their set were original tunes with some very well done covers, including my personal favorite “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”, which was written by Darrell Scott, who was born in London, KY. I’ve heard Sunrise Ridge cover that song a couple times now and it gets better every time I hear it.
I always try to write a review by sharing a unique viewpoint. It may be a bit of history about an artist, a venue or even a personal experience that I share with you. The story that I want to tell in this review will contain all three-prongs of the above description. So I want to warn you, this article will be lengthy and personal. Stay with me, I think you’ll enjoy.
Several years ago, we’ll call it the MySpace Age, I was the national talent buyer at the old A1A Concert Hall in Lexington. I spent many hours searching for bands on MySpace. The venue’s capacity was only 500, so I really had to find bands that I felt had a bright future. Bands on the verge of breaking out of their hometown market and onto the national scene. During that time, I happened upon a band that I really enjoyed. Their name was Black Summer Crush. I reached out to them and we had a few exchanges about where they were in their careers and if they’d be touring anytime soon. At that time, they were only doing a few California shows. As life often does, we drifted our separate ways and MySpace got Facebooked. (more…)